18-year-old boy from Tamil Nadu designs world’s lightest satellite Kalamsat


A young scientist from Tamil Nadu has managed to top the ‘Cubes in Space’ contest by designing the world’s lightest spacecraft at just 64 grams.

The feat was achieved by Rifath Sharook from Pallapati, Tamil Nadu, who created Kalamsat. The satellite has been selected by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to be sent into space on June 21 from the Wallops Island, which is NASA’s one of the official launch pad. It will be first time, when NASA would carry a satellite indigenously developed by an Indian student.

The satellite is primarily designed to check the feasibility and the performance of the carbon fibers infused in the 3D printed material. The duration of the experiment into space post-release from a sub-orbital flight is 240 minutes and it is designed to function for a mere 12 minutes where it will be made to operate in a micro-gravity environment in the space.

NASA along with an organization called ‘I doodle learning’ conducted a competition named ‘Cubes in Space’. Rifath participated in this competition where his satellite was selected fulfilling all the requisites of the competition. The main condition of the competition was to design a satellite which can fit in a 4 metre cube space, whose weight not exceeding 64 grams.

The nomenclature of the satellite is in the reverence of late Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, India’s former President and renowned nuclear scientist. Talking more about the project, Rifath says that he has chipped in multiple sensors into the satellite which will calculate the quantities like acceleration, rotation and magnetosphere of the planet. Rafith’s satellite is first to be manufactured by the technology of 3D printing. This indigenous project by the 18 year old student has been fully funded by the ‘Space Kidz India’ foundation.